Establishing Your Online Domain

If you’re serious about doing business on the Net you need to register a domain name to represents your company and is your URL. The letters URL stand for Uniform Resource Locator. The URL is the site address that appears in the address window of your browser. It’s the way you find websites on the Net.

This raises a problem for you. Many of the most popular .com have been taken. You will probably find that someone has already registered your business name or business type. Creating a unique domain name could be quite a challenge. That is, unless you have the deep pockets of a Barnes & Noble to buy an already assigned domain name. The fact is that grabbing a great domain name that reflects your business type or even your business name is getting harder to do. You can also bypass the .com extension and register .net, .org, .us, .info, .name, .biz, .de, .tv,, .cc, and .bz, but they are not as popular with users and may cause confusion when they enter your domain name with a .com rather than another extension.

Finally, when choosing a domain name, keep it short and memorable. A long name with too many letters or with hyphens is hard to remember. Also, make it easy to spell. Lastly, try to choose a name that relates to your core business or business name.

Register Your Misspelled and Alternative Domain Name

Why lose potential customers because they misspelled your URL? Register the obvious misspellings of your domain name and redirect them back to your site. Also register alternative spellings of your name. To further protect yourself, you might consider registering not only as a .com, but also as a .net, .org, or even a .tv.

Where to Start

First, find out whether that nifty domain name you thought up is available. A lot of domain providers will walk you through the process of choosing and registering a domain for your business. It will also suggest other names if the one you want is already taken.

After a quick search, they will tell you whether that name is taken or not. Be prepared to try several variations on your domain name until you find one that has not been registered. If the domain is taken, a list of suggested names will be displayed along with the other domain extensions such as .net, .org, .biz, .info, and .us. Because you are setting up a business on the Net, the extension you will likely use is the .com one. The .org extension is for organizations such as the United Way, and .net is for networks on the Internet. You can search as many names as you likeit’s free. After you find the name you want and it’s available, you can proceed to register the domain name.

You will be asked to name both an administrative and technical contact when you apply for a domain. It is very important that you name yourself, not an employee, as the administrative contact. The administrative contact is the only one who can make changes to your domain registration. Don’t be caught having to chase down someone who no longer works for your company to make future changes to your registration.

Now that you know the reasons to plan your business, have chosen a unique name, and have established a legal identity, it’s time to look at the necessary elements of your business plan.

Martin Chandra is a full-time investor. He has been researching investment strategies and make his own living.

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